With customer acquisition and references the highest priority, the first non-technical hires focus on business development/sales.
In the early days, the technical CEO attempts to cover marketing and often delays hiring a marketing professional due to cost and equity considerations.
In doing so, they often struggle with:
- Identifying the target buyer and articulating their unique value proposition
- Addressing packaging, licensing and pricing strategies
- Selecting product category definitions and articulating competitive differentiation
- Enabling sales personnel with a compelling business proposition
- Determining a proper marketing mix and executing programs to deliver qualified leads
The longer the company struggles with these core go-to-market issues, the more likely customer acquisition goals won't be met, competitors will gain market share and the risk of company failure increases.